Teargas rocks Kampala as police battles journalists, Besigye

What started as a peaceful protest by journalists against the police’s brutality turned chaotic as the police treated them to the same character they were protesting against.

The journalists planned to peacefully march to the police headquarters at Naguru near Kampala and present a petition to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) John Martin Okoth-Ochola over last week’s incident when the police beat up journalists who were covering student protests at Makerere University.

The president of Uganda Journalists Association (UJA) Bashir Kazibwe Mbaziira who last week announced a blackout on all police activities, was arrested with a group journalists near the Electoral Commission along Jinja road in Kampala as they marched towards Naguru.

They were teargassed before being bundled onto a waiting police pick-up truck and driven to the Central Police Station (CPS) in Kampala.

Another group of journalists had stationed at the Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) grounds, Lugogo, but were also surrounded by the police and driven to CPS Kampala.

FDC BATTLES

In Kireka, a Kampala suburb, police battled supporters of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) who were heading to Namboole stadium for their party conference.

Heavily armed police and military officers condoned off the stadium and turned away whoever approached the facility.

The angered the FDC supporters decided to march in a procession from Mandela national stadium to their party headquarters in Najjanankumbi prompting the police to teargas them.

Besigye and FDC supporters being teargassed

Former FDC presidential candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye’s car was surrounded by about six police trucks before forcing him out and bundled into a police van, which sped off to unknown location.

Police also arrested several other FDC party members and youths that had joined the procession.